Disclaimer: I do not Own Shadow the Hedgehog or Amy Rose or any Sonic Team related characters. But if I owned Shadow I'd just hug him lots and tickle his chest fur X3

A/N: Good things come to those who wait. Or something like that. This is the last chapter for those who don't want to read the lemon, so thank you for reading! :D I would like to thank a few people, who have been nothing past excellent in helping me get this God forsaken thing out. They are: Little Fortune Cookie, ShadowAmyPunk, Elys, Sonicfan18 and everyone who helped me on DA. I luff you guys. :3
Thank you also to (long list!):
game-dude, Ryota is Evil, Nighttime Lunacy, fireworkmage, Maverick 1812, Zeak the Echidna, Shadowboi936, Arcanumpanthera, Kittychobit, Little Fortune Cookie, Kalana Fox, Princess Io, Jaddasroots, Dianananerz, CoolestPenNameEver, Mwa, Music-Tigress-CSI, Jess Ishtar, 'do u honestly care?', Se-chan, ShadowFeline-Warrior, Iloveshadamy, Elys, ShadowDemonOne, dxctreme, Deniem88, Calleigh Bladedancer, Sonamygirl92, Sakura-rocks106761, AquaIsland, K.Higurashi, DragonCurse4, ShadowTotallyAmy, Chenelle, CorpseGrinder666, Emperor Jaden and SakuraDrops93.

- - -

Chapter Twenty-One

(Silhouette belongs to Seastone130 and Draith belongs to Draith500)

Sonic's emerald gaze set on his injured hand - more importantly the blood that was dripping from the wound. A small sound of complaint fell from his throat at watching it fall and also noticing it coagulate on his glove. He took a deep breath in, which caused his aching rib to sting painfully

"Oh man, that is definitely gonna take awhile to heal," he complained to himself unhappily. Chancing a glance at his rival, he noticed that he was walking away, Amy in his arms. Jealousy began to rise in the blue male's chest at the sight of her clinging to him to tightly, but he quickly shook it off. He was happy for them and that was the way it was going to stay! "Hey Shadow!" he called after the two hedgehogs. He watched the other male stiffen as he turned his head to look at him through one narrowed crimson eye "Uh, where are you going?"

"To take Rose home," he roughly answered "Though I don't see why it's any of your business..." the blue male visually cringed at the last, unnecessary remark

"I can see that, but what about these two?" he pointed to the unconscious hybrids on the ground

"I don't know or care what you do with them," the onyx male responded, casting only one unimpressed glance to Draith and Silhouette "My only priority at the moment is Rose," he spoke, not even looking to the female he was referring too. A smile came to the blue hero's face at hearing his adversary's words

"Yeah, yeah... Just look after her," the smile on his face then turned into a smirk "Or you'll have to deal with me!" Shadow only rolled his eyes at the remark and making sure he had a secure grip on his precious cargo, sped into the direction of her home, leaving the four Mobians on their own. Sighing more to himself, Sonic turned to look at his best friend, who was tinkering with his metal rival's head "Hey Tails, any luck?" The small fox briefly glanced over to the cobalt hedgehog and shook his head

"I'll have to take it back to my workshop... Shadow pulled quite a number on him; the latch to the compartment is completely inaccessible. The heat from his Chaos Blast has welded it closed," he sighed, lifting the head into his hands, looking it over to see any other possible point of entry to the 'deactivate' point.

"Do you have any idea on what to do with them?" the hedgehog asked, jabbing a thumb to the hybrids with them.

"I'm assuming that they have some kind of micro-chip imbedded in their bodies somewhere, since Metal Sonic could take control of them. Again, I'd have to get them back to my workshop," crystalline eyes then spotted the blood on his best friends hand, as well as it splashing down onto the ground "Are you okay Sonic? That looks pretty bad..."

"It hurts like hell, but it'll heal," he laughed, wincing slightly when the action hurt his fractured ribs "Heh, I guess I could rest for a few hours..."

"That looks like it needs stitches," the genius pointed out, worry shining in his blue eyes. The hero paled slightly at hearing the word 'stitches' and shook his un-hurt hand in front of him, a nervous smile on his face

"Nah, you focus on those three," he said, hiding his nervousness behind his heroism

"Sonic..." Tails warned, a worried frown accompanying his caring eyes "They could get infected and that can warrant an amputation,"

"Okay, okay!" the blue blur relented with a sigh, hiding his horror. Amputation?! He needed his hands! "You can do that after you've sorted those three out"

"Thank you Sonic," he smiled gratefully. He looked down to the head in his hands, then over at the two bodies. His genius mind suddenly came up with a vital problem: "How are we going to get them to the Mystic Ruins?"

"I can take them," the blue male stated, walking towards Silhouette using his 'hero stride'.

"You're injured," the fox-boy said, in a pointed tone; earning his best friend to stop and turn to look at him through one green eye, his okay hand behind his head, realising his error. His eyes suddenly sparkled as an idea came to his heroic mind

"Fine. I'll go and get the tornado!" he smirked; in his eyes his plan was brilliant. Sending a smirk to his little brother, he got ready to run "See you in a sec," Then with his trademark thumb up and wink, he ran in the direction of his home; leaving the small vulpine coughing and spluttering in the dust his speed created.

- - -

Maria's POV

As I come out of my 'hiding' place, a small smile comes to my lips as I watch the two leave the area of the destroyed base, I am so happy that he has found someone like her and so glad he has lowered his emotional walls to allow himself the chance to be happy. A giggle falls from my lips as I imagine the happiness this pink rose can offer him. The Shadow I remember from all those years ago was holding her so delicately and protectively in his arms that I held no doubt in my mind, I could almost see the smile under the stoic, emotionless face of his - no matter how hard he tried to hide it as he rushed away. If he can open up to her, then there will be no stopping him from giving himself completely over to her, heart, body and soul.

I have been so naughty in giving them both the helpful nudges and protective warnings I think they needed, though it was more for his benefit than hers, he is still my grumpy friend after all. I can't help but giggle again as the thought of him starting a family with Amy! I let a small excited sound escape my lips, their children will be so adorable! A grin comes to my face at the thought of Shadow being a father; it would suit him to the core and help him relax, hopefully anyway. I shook my head slightly as I watch the dust settle from his speedy exit. I will continue to watch over them every so often, just to give him the helpful nudges he needs to carry on with his new life with this pink female Mobian that has captured his interest. I know I will see him again one day and I am patient for the day because I want to see him smile, interact with her friends and most importantly: Be Happy.

- - -

As the world around her was kept at a steady blur by the speed of the male that held her so protectively, Amy lifted her head slightly - fighting against the wind that battered the side of her delicate face and the G-forces that tried to force her head back against his warm fur. Her green eyes travelled to the hardened, determined face of her rescuer; his crimson orbs set in front of him as he concentrated on running at such break-neck speed. She needed to talk to him, but getting his attention could send them into a dangerous situation. She could see the cut along his muzzle and guilt flared through her, it was her that got captured and he had come to rescue her and got hurt doing so. The rose female was so caught up in her guilt-driven thoughts; she didn't notice him staring at her. When she looked up to him again and caught those entrancing eyes she smiled brightly at him.

"Can you stop for a moment?" she asked softly, relieved that he had noticed her and she didn't have to distract him. One simple nod came from him as his eyes averted back to the path he had chosen. Amy noticed that their surroundings had slowed to become actual shapes and colours - he was complying to her request! Keeping in her happiness, she kept holding onto him tightly as the world stopped around them. "Thank you," she spoke, to get a grunt in return

"Do you wish to stand?" he asked, not minding either way. The hedge-girl giggled and got comfortable in his grasp, a smile on her face

"I'm fine here," she sighed in contentment "Shadow, can I ask you something?"

"What is it?" he asked, holding her securely in his grasp, not willing to let her go now that she was comfortable

"What Sonic said, in the base... Was that true?" she asked shyly, a small blush staining her cheeks. In hearing the line of her questioning, he should have known that she would question the blue annoyance's statement.

"The Faker said a lot of things, you will have to be more specific," he said, looking straight in front of him, he didn't want her to know what he felt! A delicate hand on the side of his face made him look to her again as she smiled up to him

"I was so scared that you had died when Eggman's base collapsed," she whimpered, changing the subject in seeing he was uncomfortable with her questioning. Her grip on him tightened as the grief from 'losing' him for those few moments washed over her again. A scoff came from the ebony male as he tightened his hold on her in a comforting way

"I keep my promises," he told her, a stern look on his face. Amy couldn't help but giggle though her tears. She moved her muzzle closer to his, ready to confront him with Sonic's revelation about his feelings for her. She could feel his intense crimson eyes following her every move

"Shadow, are you in love with me?" she asked, looking up into his eyes, trying to capture any emotion that might flicker across them. Watching him, she noticed how his eyes only concentrated on her as she spoke. There was still no trace of any inkling of feeling in his eyes or expression, but she had to know! Smiling, she leant up and gave him a fleeting kiss on the cheek "Well, even if he wasn't telling the truth... I want you to know something," she took in a deep breath and her eyes sparkled a brilliant, pure emerald "I want you to know that I love you," An immediate grumpy huff was heard from her onyx hero as he turned his head away from her, hiding the most tiniest of blushes. Taking his huff as a bad sign the rose female fidgeted in his hold "It's okay Shadow, I just needed to get it off of my chest, you don't have to say anything... Or even do an-"

"You talk too much," The crimson streaked male commented, gazing out of the corner of his eye to her, a smirk on his face at seeing her bristle in annoyance at being so rudely interrupted. Looking fully to her again, the smirk stayed planted on his muzzle "There may have been some truth in the Faker's words," he 'admitted' to her and as he was about to continue talking, he found himself unable to accomplish the art of speech - as another pair of lips had latched onto his own. Watching the pink hedgehog for a moment to take in her form, he slowly let her legs drop to the floor, the arm that had been holding her there snaked around her waist, holding her securely against him. Ebony eyelids masked crimson eyes as he allowed himself the intimate moment he had been secretly craving for. His instincts kicked in and streaked arms pulled her even close to his ebony body, deepening the kiss. His mind began to cloud with lust and desire for the hedge-girl in his arms. The onyx and crimson male's gloved hand sensually stroked the small of her back, just barely touching the base of her tail each time, earning a shiver from every pass of his hand. It took all he had not to lay her down and... He shook his head. There was no way he would allow himself to even think about taking her out here. It would only cause her to either berate him for his actions or bitch at him. He smirked to himself; they were the ONLY things keeping him from ravaging her. He would never admit it - to her - or anybody, but she mattered to him, her every emotion and thought mattered to the Ultimate Life Form - but he also wanted her writhing in pleasure under him. Shadow could feel his desire manifest into a physical arousal.

Battling against his animalistic desires, he nipped her bottom lip in his own form of 'apology', breaking away, he stared at her for a moment, waiting for her to reprimand him; but as she smiled so lovingly up at him, taking deep breaths from slightly parted lips that just made him want to smash them both to the floor, he relaxed inside slightly.

"I'm ready to go home now Shadow," she whispered, resting her head back against his tuft of contrasting white fur. Giving her a single nod, her ebony knight lifted her into his arms once more and resumed their journey, a smirk appeared on his face as he ran, maybe this emotion called love wasn't so bad.

- - -

Good God, took me long enough didn't it? -- Next time: Lemon-y goodness.